Barack Obama and the Solution that Wasn’t

June 19, 2010

Two days ago, Obama delivered his first speech from the Oval Office to a country that desperately wanted to know what was being done to address the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. What he delivered, to paraphrase Keith Olbermann, was a speech that could have described another country on another continent on another planet. Perhaps even a time and place long ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Certainly, he discussed the many efforts the government has undertaken to address this disaster. And to the average, uninformed citizen, Obama would have left the impression that something was being done, even from Day 1.

It’s true that since the oil spill, Obama has been very busy. After all, there’s so much to do.

For instance, since day one, Obama has played at least 7 rounds of golf. He has welcomed at least 4 sports teams to the White House including the New York Yankees, the Duke men’s basketball team, UConn women’s basketball team and the Navy football team.

He has attended at least 3 fundraisers, one of which was held for Barbara Boxer on the same day as the memorial service for the 11 workers killed in the Deepwater Horizon explosion. I suppose keeping Barbara Boxer’s Senate Seat was more important. Oh, and did I mention that he attended a party with the Getty Oil family that day too?

Obama has even been on two vacations. Not to mention that Tom Strickland, chief of staff for Obama’s Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, went on a “work-focused” trip that includes whitewater rafting in Arizona on Day 8 of the oil spill.

But let’s not forget that since the oil spill, President Obama has met with very important dignitaries like President Calderon of Mexico, sports analyst Marv Albert, Bono, and most importantly, Paul McCartney. However, it wasn’t until day 58 that he met with BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg and BP CEO Tony Hayward.

As much as Obama would love for us to believe that he has his “boot on the neck” of BP and that he is demanding to know “whose @$$ to kick,” it seems that he has other irons in the fire. Actions speak louder than words, Mr. President.

In sharp contrast with his actions over the past 59 days, Obama’s speech offered the illusion that he is in control of this massive disaster. Furthermore, he is begging us to believe that his cap-and-trade legislation will somehow address this monstrosity. The reality is that it simply will not. I believe Governor Bob Riley of Alabama said it best: “If my house is on fire, I don’t need the fire chief telling me I should not have built the house out of wood.  I need somebody to put the fire out.” We don’t need cap and trade, we need to “plug the d@mn hole” (to quote Obama) and clean up our shoreline.

Also, we shouldn’t have rejected assistance from the Dutch when they offered it to us days after the rig exploded. We should have repealed the Jones Act and let our allies help us with this disaster.

It is downright shameful of this president to use the oil spill as leverage to foist his economically inhibitive policies on our country. Cap-and-trade will not clean the oil from our shores. Cap-and-trade will not directly prevent disasters like this from happening. Cap-and-trade will not accelerate scientific advances in clean energy. Why on earth should we pass such legislation?

We must ask ourselves: does it make sense to throw more money at a government who has failed, as a result of bureaucracy and not a lack of money, to clean up our shores in a timely manner? Unfortunately, instead of concerning themselves with the actual oil spill, the White House is apparently more concerned with never letting “a crisis go to waste.”

Article first published as Obama and the Solution that Wasn’t on Blogcritics.


A Republican Discusses Energy

July 12, 2007

It seems earth-shattering that a Republican would discuss such a hot potato that ranks almost as high as healthcare among lesser-discussed GOP issues, but I’m going to try.

Now I won’t come out and say that I’m a “environmentalist Republican.” Besides, some would say that term is an oxymoron. However, I definitely believe there are reasonable solutions to the energy crisis that faces this country. With two major GOP oil figures heading up the executive branch of our country, I can see why many people have written off the Republican party as a source for answers to energy and the environment.

So let me take a chance to see if I can come up with some ideas that everyone can at least tolerate.

We are an oil-crazed culture. There’s no denying it. We use oil in everything from plastics to gasoline. Are we addicted? Maybe. But I’d rather use a different word: reliant.

Gas prices are higher than ever before (even though, when adjusted by inflation they are actually comparable to that of the 1970’s). The days of $1.00/gallon for gasoline seem to be over.  

We keep using petroleum, which is a non-renewable resource, and there’s a chance we’ll eventually run out of it altogether. I don’t know how soon that would be, but it could very well happen. To avoid that we need to switch to renewable alternative energy sources.

Now, I suggest a comprehensive strategy when it comes to energy. First, the government should encourage the development of ethanol from sugarcane and sugarbeets. The U.S. Government once paid farmers not to grow corn and now that we “need” it for ethanol and everything else corn is used for, corn is now inflated. So along with corn, we should also find other sources for ethanol.

We have to understand that oil is not necessarily the complete problem in and of itself, but we’re overly dependent on foreign sources. If we drill in ANWR and other places within U.S. Territory, we can make ourselves self-sufficient on oil. Of course we want to be completely free from oil someday, but we have to face the fact that it’s a long way down the road.

The government must work with automobile manufacturers and the oil companies to produce products that consume less gasoline. If somehow every auto manufacturer began producing hybrid versions of the cars they already have and reduce production of they gas guzzlers they currently make, demand for gasoline would decrease, thus decreasing the price of gas. If the government simply decides to legislate it’s way out of it and force oil companies to do things their way, the cost will be distributed to the average citizen, placing the burden on them. Encouragement is the key, not force.

Solar and wind energy must be improved and expanded as well. I wonder how far away “hybrid houses” are. They may already be here. If so, I’d be extremely interested.

So here’s our objectives: we have to avoid even higher gas prices, decrease foreign dependency, avoid higher taxes, and avoid more government control. How can we do that?

As I said before, private organizations need to be encouraged or coaxed into developing these alternative sources of energy, not forced. This can all be done in a reasonable, economical, and feasible manner by introducing major tax incentives and government grants. But going to extremes like the Democrats want, or maintaining the status quo like some Republicans want is not the answer.

Conservatives much actually embrace the term “conservative” when it comes to energy. We have to find ways to conserve the energy we have. It’s not unreasonable to turn the lights off when we aren’t using them and things like that. We need to be practical about energy. I know I’ll probably get slammed by hardcore environmentalists and oil-crazed conseratives alike, but I hope you will consider these suggestions with an open mind.


Important Political News Report

July 10, 2007

This just in…

The real reason that Ron Paul should not win the White House in 2008 is….

Ron Paul is Magneto

Because he is Magneto!

Recent intense study into Ron Paul’s history has revealed that his real name is Eric Lensherr, also known as Magneto. Dr. Paul, or shall we say, Magneto is running for the Republican nomination in 2008 so he can win the support of paleocons only for him to turn his back on them so he can enslave humanity and allow mutants to rule the world. He is teaming up with fellow mutants Christopher Dodd, Tommy Thompson and Mike Gravel in an elaborate conspiracy to take over the world. Why else would 9/11 conspiracy theorists support Ron Paul? Because they are a part of the mutant conspiracy themselves!

In other news….

Al Gore idiot

Al Gore has decided to put on another Live Earth in the fall of 2008. But this time, he’s  calling it “Laughingstock.” All proceeds will fund the 2008 Democratic Presidential campaign.

Note: this post is entirely comedic and satirical in nature. If you are offended by this, you probably have no sense of humor.


Open Letter to Al Gore Concerning Live Earth

July 9, 2007

Dear Former Vice President Gore,

As a fellow American and resident of this planet, I would like to ask you some questions concerning your Live Earth concerts. As an avid concert-goer, I have often seen what is required in order for such an event to take place. I believe that our environment is very important and I’d like to address how your concerts have affected it.

First, how much fuel was used to make Live Earth possible? It’s obvious that flying in various artists, along with their entourages, road crews, and gear all over the globe requires a great deal of fuel and I’d like to see an approximate figure of how much was actually consumed. Did all ground crews use hybrid, hydrogen or electric vehicles?

Second, your concerts required power, right? After all, unless these shows were all acoustic, a great deal of power must be generated for P.A. Systems, amplifiers, and lighting. And that doesn’t even take into account the power that various vendors might have required for selling food, beverages, t-shirts, etc. It would interest me to know if solar, wind, or any other non-petroleum-based energy source was used to make electricity for this concert possible.

Third, concerts unfortunately generate a great deal of waste. Will all this waste be recycled? If not, wouldn’t such waste contribute to the pollution of our environment?

Fourth, what has Live Earth actually accomplished for the environment? Were trees planted to compensate for deforestation? Were cleaner sources of energy found or furthered? Did the artists refuse to accept payment or donate their payments to an organization that combats global warming?

Finally, based on all the previous questions, is it not true that Live Earth did potentially more harm for the environment than good?

Mr. Gore, if it is in fact true that this event has done more harm to the planet than good, are you not a hypocrite?

However, if in fact the measures that were taken to put on Live Earth did not damage the environment, then why should we be concerned about global warming? Evidentally if such is the case, there is no need to be concerned about our “oil-crazed” culture. We can continue to use non-renewable energy sources without fear of perpetuating global warming. Also, wasn’t there supposed to be a Live Earth concert on Antarctica? I guess that fell through.

Please reconcile these discrepancies for me, Mr. Gore. Earth is in the balance.

Sincerely,

Braden

P.S. Are you sure you aren’t running for President?